The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) manages one of the largest groundwater and soil remediation efforts in the world. The inventory at the DOE sites includes 6.5 trillion liters of contaminated groundwater, an amount equal to about four times the daily U.S. water consumption, and 40 million cubic meters of soil and debris contaminated with radionuclides, metals, and organics. The Office of Soil and Groundwater Remediation is working with DOE site managers around the country to help find solutions to their specific technical issues. At the large sites such as Hanford, Savannah River, and Oak Ridge, the Office of Soil and Groundwater Remediation has conducted research and demonstration projects to test new technologies and remediation approaches. The Office of Soil and Groundwater Remediation Program is focused on delivering approaches and technologies from highly leveraged and strategic investments that maximize the impact to reduce risk and life-cycle cleanup costs. The research portion of the program consists of four elements: Deep Vadose Zone - Applied Field Research Initiative; Attenuation-Based Remedies for the Subsurface – Applied Field Research Initiative; Remediation of Mercury and Industrial Contaminants - Applied Field Research Initiative; and Advanced Simulation Capability for Environmental Management.
These initiatives are developing approaches that support remediation alternatives ranging from active engineered systems to natural attenuation to address DOE contaminants. They are being integrated into a systems-based, risk-informed, endpoint remediation framework that is being strategically applied across the DOE EM complex. In addition to the initiatives, the technical assistance program within the Office of Soil and Groundwater Remediation consistently and successfully provides technical resources to solve urgent, challenging environmental problems.